I was planning to ask Ashton to marry me for some time, but I knew I needed to have a job before I asked her. I am old fashioned, and I wanted to be able to tell her dad how I intended to support her. After I worked for a while, I developed a scheme to buy a ring. I knew of a place in Charlotte that I wanted to buy it from, so I developed a story that I had a job interview in Richmond. Really I was driving down to pick out the diamond I wanted for the ring. After a second trip to Charlotte, I made Ashton's engagement ring. I didn't have it for a full day, and I was ready to pop the question. Ashton had always told me that she wanted to get married at the school (I thought she was serious, and mentioning this to gauge my interest in marriage like women tend to do). I knew that I had to talk to her parents about the subject, and I began practicing what I was going to say to both Ashton, and her dad. Ashton's dad needed my help with his latest project, and I saw this as an opportunity to talk to him without worry of anyone else listening. After discussing the subject with Ashton's mom and dad, I was ready to ask her to be my wife. She was up in her room, unaware of the muffled conversations being held. I wanted to take her to the school and propose to her. Ashton really values her hometown, and as Lebanon Middle is right in the center of town (and where I thought she wanted to get married), I thought it was an appropriate location. It took close to an hour to convince her that she needed to leave the solitude of her room, and we were on our way to town. I had attempted to get her to go for a walk, but ultimately switched to the tactic of buying her a movie. We drove through town, and I started this made-up story about the new football field at the school, and Ashton wasn't having any of it. She was being very obsintate, basically the whole day, but I had a plan to finish. I eventually convinced her to get out of the car, and I felt she knew what was going on. I had a copy of Wuthering Heights checked out from the library, since it was Ashton's favorite book, we "met" each other at the library, and she wanted to check it out the whole time I volunteered there. I handed her the book, and we had a conversation about it. It led to me exclaiming, "I always tell you that there are a lot of reasons that I love you, but now I have my whole life to tell you." I got down on one knee, looked into her eyes and said "Ashton, I promise I'll love you the rest of my life, will you marry me?" She stood looking at me for what felt like an eternity. I began to sweat from either the heat, the nervousness of her hesitation, or both. She started saying "Are you serious?" to me in total disbelief of the situation. After she realized I was sincere, she said "Yeah" and put her arms around me. We sat talking for a while (in the shade), and we headed back to her house to tell everyone the news.